New album "MMXII" (2012), just got it yesterday. New KJ albums are always a major event for me. After first listen have to say I was really disappointed. But I am listening at work repeatedly and I can see it growing on me. It is more prog sounding than their last few, w/more keyboards and programming. Many of the songs on first listen sound like Jaz just wants to prove he can still yell like a motherfckr, or the band wants to prove they can make a shitload of noise for old buggers. Looks like he certainly did his homework on the conspiracy theories revolving around 2012. Check out these song titles: Pole Shift, FEMA Camp, Rapture, Corporate Elect, Glitch (which is about a sun even knocking out all the electronics on Earth)...I have to say I like it, being a conspiracy theory nut myself. They even give you Internet links for various topics on the lyrics booklet. It sounds like they purposely went for a big apocalyptic sound here. They succeeded in a way, but I think the production hinders reaching that goal in a pure way.
The production (again on first listen) is horrid. Somebody pro-tooled Geordie right to the bottom of the mix. Somebody also pro-tooled drummer Big Paul Ferguson (one of the hardest hitting, thunderous drummers in rock) to make his kit sound wimpy and muffled. It kind of has the effect of wrapping a 250 pound wrestler in cellophane and the result of him trying to punch his way out of it. It sounds like they pro-tooled each individual instrument and it just sounds so NOT natural. Have you heard "Duende: The Spanish Sessions"? Now THAT'S how to record KJ. Just put them in a room, plug in and record. Much more effective. Bottom line: this album is so over-produced it makes Justin Bieber sound analog.
The single, "In Cythera," I liked immediately. Melodic, quite powerful song. There are a few songs where the band rips off its own riffs from earlier material. Have to give it some more listens to identify those songs, but yeah, it's funny how they sued Nirvana over "Come as You Are/Eighties" but they ripped themselves off here. Maybe they should sue themselves. Ha!
I know there are some Joke fans here so let's hear your thoughts!!!...